A PAIR OF GEORGE III GILT-BRASS MOUNTED HAREWOOD, SATINWOOD, AMARANTH, FRUITWOOD MARQUETRY, PAINTED AND GILTWOOD DEMI-LUNE CONSOLE TABLES
A PAIR OF GEORGE III GILT-BRASS MOUNTED HAREWOOD, SATINWOOD, AMARANTH, FRUITWOOD MARQUETRY, PAINTED AND GILTWOOD DEMI-LUNE CONSOLE TABLES
A PAIR OF GEORGE III GILT-BRASS MOUNTED HAREWOOD, SATINWOOD, AMARANTH, FRUITWOOD MARQUETRY, PAINTED AND GILTWOOD DEMI-LUNE CONSOLE TABLES
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A PAIR OF GEORGE III GILT-BRASS MOUNTED HAREWOOD, SATINWOOD, AMARANTH, FRUITWOOD MARQUETRY, PAINTED AND GILTWOOD DEMI-LUNE CONSOLE TABLES
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Following the auction, this lot will be stored at … Read more
A PAIR OF GEORGE III GILT-BRASS MOUNTED HAREWOOD, SATINWOOD, AMARANTH, FRUITWOOD MARQUETRY, PAINTED AND GILTWOOD DEMI-LUNE CONSOLE TABLES

ATTRIBUTED TO WILLIAM INCE AND JOHN MAYHEW, CIRCA 1770

Details
A PAIR OF GEORGE III GILT-BRASS MOUNTED HAREWOOD, SATINWOOD, AMARANTH, FRUITWOOD MARQUETRY, PAINTED AND GILTWOOD DEMI-LUNE CONSOLE TABLES
ATTRIBUTED TO WILLIAM INCE AND JOHN MAYHEW, CIRCA 1770
Each top with ribbon-tied reeded edge, the satinwood border inlaid with foliate scrolls and anthemia, the back with a half fan patera within a foliate inlaid band, the harewood ground inlaid with ribbon-tied swags of coloured and finely engraved Summer flowers and pinecones alternating baskets of flowers and pelta shields, the frieze inlaid with a band of anthemion centred by an oval tablet painted with scenes of putti within giltwood fringed drapery, the two incurved legs headed by square flowerhead carved blocks and carved with overhanging leaves joined by later semi-circular plinths with ribbon and reed giltwood mouldings, differences in width
33 1/2 in. (85 cm.) high; 51 3/4 in. (131.5 cm.) and 47 3/4 in. (121.3 cm.) wide; 23 3/4 in. (60.5 cm.) deep
Provenance
Probably supplied to John Frederick Sackville, 3rd Duke of Dorset as part of the internal remodelling of 33 (now 38) Grosvenor Square by John Johnson, circa 1777.
Purchased with the house in 1792 by Sir Henry Gouch Calthorpe, 2nd Bt (1749-1798), later 1st Baron Calthorpe, and thence by descent at the house until sold after the death of the widow of the 6th Baron Calthorpe.
The late Maud, Lady Calthorpe, 38 Grosvenor Square, Phillips House Sale, 11 May 1925, lots 289-290 (both lots bought by Partridge Fine Art Ltd, London).
Mrs I. Hill.
With Partridge, from whom purchased on 27 July 1962 for £4,500 by
Sir Michael Sobell for Bakeham House, near Egham, Surrey.
The Sir Michael Sobell Collection; Christie's, London, 23 June 1994, lot 138 (withdrawn from the sale and retained by the family).
Literature
H. Roberts and C. Cator, Industry and Ingenuity - The Partnership of William Ince and John Mayhew, London, 2022, pp. 248-9 and 421, fig. 498.
Special notice
Following the auction, this lot will be stored at Crozier Park Royal and will be available for collection from 12.00pm on the second business day after the sale. Please call Christie’s Client Service 24 hours in advance to book a collection time at Crozier Park Royal. All collections from Crozier Park Royal will be by pre-booked appointment only. Tel: +44 (0)20 7839 9060 I Email: cscollectionsuk@christies.com.

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Amelia Walker
Amelia Walker Director, Specialist Head of Private & Iconic Collections

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Lot Essay

These tables, whose elliptical tops reflect the 'antique' style promoted by the publication of Robert and James Adam's Works in Architecture, 1773, are likely to have been commissioned by John Frederick Sackville, 3rd Duke of Dorset (d. 1799), for the drawing room of his Grosvenor Square house, which he acquired and rebuilt in the most fashionable style in 1776-7. Sadly the 1925 sale catalogue gives little indication of the room in which these consoles were placed. The house, which was until recently the Indonesian Embassy, retains its painted plasterwork ceilings and has the very unusual feature of a drawing room wing at the back, which was actually added by the architect John Johnson for the Duke at the time of the decoration. This room appears to have been intended as a principal drawing room; the extensive ceiling decoration depicts Apollo in the company of Muses. It is just possible that the difference in width between these two tables indicates that they were intended to stand on the flat window piers of the curved wall of the rear drawing room. The exterior curve may have caused the difference in width between the two piers.
The two painted oval medallions are in the manner of engravings by Francesco Bartolozzi (d. 1815) and they celebrate the triumph of Love. One is inspired by Apuleius' romance The Golden Ass and portrays the union between Cupid and Psyche. The other portrays two putti in equal contention for a palm. The latter medallion must have been inspired by engravings of Annibale Carracci's frescoes in the Palazzo Farnese, Rome. The palm motif is continued by the palm-wrapped ormolu edge and the bowed leaf-carved legs. The tops themselves are intended to be viewed in accompanying pier-glasses to create the illusion of central paterae of which the sunflower rosettes are, as so often, inspired by the ceiling of Apollo's temple, known from Robert Wood's Palmyra of 1753. Pelta shields are embellished with Apollo heads and suspended by bowed ribbons from a laurel-wreathed border. This also supports flower-baskets linked by floral garlands.
This superb marquetry is characteristic of the Golden Square firm of William Ince and John Mayhew who were the authors of the Universal System of Household Furniture, 1762, and whose partnership flourished from the late 1750s until 1804. The quality and ambitious use of boldly engraved and stained marquetry has been identified as the firm's single most original contribution to furniture design in the 1770s and 1780s but in the case of these tables it is accompanied by specific details that can be related to known commissions. The central floral element of the swags in the tops corresponds to those of the pier tables which the firm supplied to Chirk Castle, Denbighshire in the early 1780s (L. Wood, Catalogue of Commodes, London, 1993, p. 221, figs. 212-213). The very rare use of carved drapery swags corresponds to the mahogany pier table and serving-table that the firm supplied to Lord Kerry in about 1770 (C. Cator, 'The Earl of Kerry and Mayhew and Ince: The Idlest Ostentation', Furniture History, 1990, pp. 27-33, figs. 1-2). The links with marquetry attributed to the firm are even stronger; a serpentine commode in the Lady Lever Art Gallery shares the Chirk-type floral garlands but they are also, as here, accompanied on the front of the commode by amaranth (purplewood) patera surmounted by ribbon-ties (Wood, op. cit., p. 222, no. 26, fig. ii).

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